Care of Hyacinth Bulbs

Overview

Hyacinth are considered spring hardy bulbs, as cold winter temperatures don't damage them and they bloom in early spring. Hyacinth bulbs come in a variety of colors, from the tight-petaled deep blue grape hyacinth to the range of color that hollyhock hyacinths offer. Hyacinth bulbs produce flowers in large clusters on single upright stems, adding a formal yet colorful appearance to early spring gardens. Proper care of your hyacinth bulbs ensures they will bloom profusely each year.

Step 1

Plant hyacinth bulbs in fall six to eight weeks before the first expected freeze. Store bulbs in a cool, dark place if they can't be planted immediately.

Step 2

Prepare a well-draining, full-sun bed for planting. Lay a 2-inch layer of mulch over the bed and till it in to a 10-inch depth. Apply 3 lbs. of 5-10-10 analysis fertilizer per every 100 square feet of bed and work it in.

Step 3

Plant hyacinth bulbs 6 inches deep, spacing them 4 inches apart in clusters. Plant single types or colors in each cluster to give them more visual impact when in bloom.

Step 4

Water thoroughly after planting, evenly moistening the soil. Apply a 2- to 4-inch layer of straw mulch over the bed to preserve moisture and prevent frost damage over winter.

Step 5

Reapply mulch in spring once the foliage emerges from the ground, or replace it with bark mulch. Water as necessary to keep soil moist.

Step 6

Fertilize hyacinth bulbs again in spring immediately after flowering. Apply 2 lbs. of 5-10-10 analysis fertilizer per 100 square feet. Work it into the soil between the bulbs but avoid getting it directly on the bulbs, as it may burn them.

Step 7

Cut off hyacinth stems once the flowers have wilted. Leave the foliage in place until it yellows and dies off on its own, as it is replenishing the nutrients in the bulb for next year's bloom.

Tips and Warnings

  • Beds may be overcrowded, inhibiting blooming, every three to five years. When this happens dig up the bulbs and divide them.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Shears

References

  • Ohio State University Extension: Growing Hardy bulbs
  • Cass County Extension: Spring Bulbs
Keywords: hyacinth bulb care, growing hyacinth, spring hardy bulbs

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.